ARTISTS: imagekind versus etsy versus other random alternative?

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Original Post

I need some help.... What do you think is the best way to offer prints of my work for sale online?

I've got a website online with an art gallery-

and originally I planned to offer my work in 3 sizes.... 8"x10" print, 11"x14" print, and 16"x20" canvas print.
I was going to have them all in my Etsy store, but decided not to for two reasons:
#1 it didn't seem cost effective to make 3 separate print listings for each of my paintings.
#2 not everyone who sees my website has an Etsy account, so those would be less likely to impulse buy.

I uploaded my work to which seemed great because they print and ship for me (they do the hart part, hehe), I've heard wonderful things about them, and people just need a credit card to shop there- Most people have that. I currently have linked all my images to imagekind.

Well, bummer, a friend of mine wanted to buy some of my work, so I suggested he try using Imagekind since I just set it up and want to hear what he thought of it, as a customer. His response: "No way. Way too confusing. You pick what you think looks good and just order it and I'll pay you for it."

So now I'm torn. I know nothing about paypal shopping carts, but would that be my best option, and just do my own printing and shipping?

I still plan to keep my Etsy store- I'm going to keep prints in it, along with ACEOs and some other originals.
Thanks for any advice!

Posted at 5:23 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT


Samantha- Funny that you bring this up because my friend and I were just talking about this with my shop.

I have my Etsy shop and an ongoing photo blog that also features my work. I get hits on that site and people click over to Etsy however some don't want to sign up for an Etsy account to purchase.

What I've opted to do is move my blog to a server that supports PayPal (it's really easy to use, especially if you find a web host that supports PayPal, they'll help you), upload my full online gallery to there as well (indicating the same info I provide here about different size options) and just do my own printing and shipping. It's what I do with Etsy anyway but this opens me up to those that might not want to utilize Etsy. (no offense to Etsy because I love it! :))

Posted at 5:38 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

FeralGlass says

I don't sell prints, but there is a site FineArtAmerica that sells wall art and has some sort of "create a print on demand" feature. I forget their fee structure.

Posted at 5:45 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

Thanks. I'll see if my host works with the paypal thing too!

Definitely no offense meant to Etsy, just having to sign up for an account might turn some away, and I have plenty of other things I can put in my Etsy shop that wouldn't fit anywhere else on my site :)

Posted at 6:46 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

JaredKS says

Etsy is the only thing that's worked for me. I know some folks are successful elsewhere, but none of the other sites I tried worked. :)

Posted at 6:47 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

Samantha- if it doesn't, there are companies out there that will host your existing site and provide you the additional benefits, such as PayPal. I'm still working on moving mine over but, if I come across anything that might be helpful to you, I'll let you know.

Jared- Love your work! I definitely think Etsy is a great place to sell work over some others. I've just run across some who don't want to sign up for anything they just want to "Add to Cart" so I figure if it's something I can set up for free on my site, and it will help those few folks, why not :)

Posted at 7:06 pm Oct 14, 2009 EDT

I am also considering Imagekind. The website looks very professional and customers seem very satisfied. Yes, with Etsy, not only do you need to sign up but a customer has to deal, in a way, with many different sellers. If I can sell my work without having to print it, wrap it, ship it - great! I'm willing to give up 50%.

Posted at 3:17 pm Nov 10, 2009 EST

I rather see the print I am sending out! So I know it printed the way it looked on my screen, with the profiles
I set up.

Posted at 3:20 pm Nov 10, 2009 EST

Imagekind is owned by Cafepress. That in and of itself is enough of a turnoff for me. But their system is horrible. You can't offer only certain sizes, you are forced to offer everything they offer. You also can't choose different markups on different sizes/styles, it's one base markup.

I wish hadn't spun off artist rising and bought out sistino. I've heard blah results from them. Redbubble also seems to be an alternative, although they aren't US based.

Posted at 3:22 pm Nov 10, 2009 EST

photoamato says

I'd feel very uncomfortable about not being able to proof the photos/art before it gets shipped. I also sign my pieces.

Posted at 3:22 pm Nov 10, 2009 EST

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